It is all very well making lots of paintings but after a while you wonder what to do with them all. Most of the time I gave them away to anyone who liked them.
At about the same time, and as part of his Gap year, my husband and a friend went to Base Camp on Everest, a great challenge and whilst doing this they raised over £12,000 for the Antony Nolan fund.
He asked me if I would sell, rather than give away my paintings and put the money into the fund raising. Not a problem. However, it did dawn on me, perhaps if people were happy to buy them, then maybe one day I could make some money.
I started to visit lots of local art exhibitions and realised that my work was actually OK and that gave me a lot of confidence. Never one to hold back I decided to give myself a project. I would book a hall for some twelve months ahead and hold a solo art exhibition. It was ambitious, and it was to be my challenge. As far as I was concerned, I had nothing to lose, if I sold work that would be great, and if not it would be disappointing but it not be a problem.
I chose to apply to the Oxmarket in Chichester because it was near to home and a great place to show work. Once accepted, I booked the large hall and counted out that there were 42 panels. I decided to fill each one with a paintings, putting all the miniatures in one panel. One wall for land and seascapes, another for portraits and miniatures and the third wall for contemporary paintings.
I had 12 months to produce 42 paintings, now life was getting really exciting. I loved the challenge and if you think about it, if it all went pear shaped all I would lose would be my booking fee and a realisation that I was not up to it. If I did not have the time or the ability to create 42 paintings, then I could simply put bigger gaps between each painting. What could possibly go wrong.
I believe in fate and so many times my life has turned a corner, when I least expected it to.
A five minute conversation with a tot, changed may way of painting, changed my way of thinking and put me on the road to working as a professional artist.